Angipangie, if you look at page 3 you will see a photo of my hair after chemo. It is dry and shabby and it did thin but I don't need a wig. I just look like I need a trip to the hairdresser, but nothing will sort it out except time and a decent diet. I have treated myself to Boots vitamins for hair, skin and nails.
No 1 done 😀
Picc line went in easily, which was nice as wasn't looking forward to that. Just got to watch the dressings as I seem to be allergic to most 😳
Pumped full of anti sickness, steroids and antihistamines then on to the hard stuff. Wasn't too bad at all, just had the hot flush and nasal thing going on with the C but apparently that's very common.
Home now with my bundle of meds, and get to inject myself tomorrow to stimulate blood cells.
Obviously the chocolate is the most important thing to remember 😆
Great to read that you are preparing so well and that you have had the courage to go for a Pixie cut. It may not only help you when the time comes, when your follicles go to sleep, but also, when the time arrives for your hair to regrow.
Chemo Caddy - the information you read was put together from many posts and tips over the years. There is no actual caddy - it is a bag/container or similar, where all things are kept together. Please also note, that you may not need everything, which is on the list. Much will depend on the side effects that you personally may be experiencing.
As to the injections - some have Gcsf injections prescribed, which generally tend to be self administered. This is not always routinely done, as they are quite expensive. Usually they are given to people, who are going through chemo and have circumstances or underlying challenges, which put them at higher risk of infections.
QUOTE - Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF or GCSF), also known as colony-stimulating factor 3 (CSF 3), is a glycoprotein that stimulates the bone marrow to produce granulocytes and stem cells and release them into the bloodstream. - END QUOTE
Hope the info helps.
Just wanted to sneak in on the November starters, just had my 2nd lot of FEC, like most I had been totally dreading the whole chemotherapy treatment, and was frankly petrified, however having completed session 2, it wasn't half as scary as I thought. Worst thing was the tiredness, it's like being knocked out, but then it passes, it comes again but obey your body and sleep if you can. As a committed tea drinker since my first lot of chemo the smell of tea, makes me gag, so am staying on ice and water for the foreseeable time, which I know is good for the veins. I know everyone is different but when my hair started to shed I decided to get the hairdresser to shave it off, and I felt more in control, it saved my husband having to follow me around with the Dyson too. I feel that I have become very obsessed with food, and when I am on the steroids all I want to do is eat. Has anyone else had food cravings?
The BCC forum is an absolute god send, when I have a bit of a wobble or need some straight talking advice this is the place I turn to. Reading everybody's threads, sharing fears, concerns and some funny things makes me realise we are not alone, and I am so grateful.
Thank you for taking the time to come on here and offer your advice - on behalf of everyone else and myself, it really does mean a lot.
As you say, it's a journey that we all have to take, hopefully, we can all support each other through the tough bits, and maybe have a wee laugh about the funny bits!
I'm dreading losing my hair, but it's one step closer to being cured. I must say I'm not looking forward to being bald but at least I'll save on shampoo and conditioner!
Thanks once again.
There's no need to apologise for how you're feeling - or even losing it. I think we've all felt like that, and still do, because we get caught up in what may (or may not) happen.
I've just had my first Chemo on 31/10/16 - so a week ago today. Yesterday I felt like pants - no energy, very tired, feeling sorry for myself and trying to put on a brave face. Today - I'm at my work, feeling good, no headache or any other SE's. Tomorrow might be different, so I'm just going to take one day at a time. Sometimes, even 1 hour can change things so much for the better.
Be kind to yourself, it's a big shock finding out you have BC and it's a journey that no-one else can take for you. Every day you will go stronger I promise. If you're upset or panicky, just come on here, there will always be someone who can help.
Big hugs pets.
Nicnak, it is perfectly normal to feel that way. My chemo is over now and before you know yours will be too. I just pop into newer threads to see if I can help or reassure anyone. Come here often and get help and support and then when you are able to it will be your turn to give help and support to those that come after. That's how the forum works and it is a wonderful place.
You will soon learn to manage your side effects, not eveyone has the same so that's why there is not much info when you first start! No point telling everyone about things they might not get when they are scared witless anyway. My worse side effect was the fatigue and feeling weak for days at time.
Hi Seagull1 and Sue. Thank you so so much for your replies. As you could probably tell from all the spelling mistakes I was mid panic, sorry. I have forced myself to get up and managed rice crispies and a tiny bit of banana in the hope it will help things. My husband is off today as I was in a real state yesterday so I really need to get my act together for when he goes back to work tomorrow. This is all so rubbish and I feel a wimp when I know so many women have gone through this and I am struggling so much already. Thank you again, I thought I was losing it this morning! Xxxxx
I'm so sorry that you are feeling this way. I'd just like to say that days 4 and 5 are probably the worst, so hang on in there because tomorrow you feel start to feel better. And by day 8 you will hopefully feel back to your normal self. Right now you will find that hard to believe, I know.
Like the other lady said, it is a good idea to keep a diary, then as you go through each cycle, you will know how you feel on each day.
Take it easy, try not to fight it,give yourself time to recover, and take any offers of help.
Sending a hug x
Sorry to hear that you're in hospital - hope you're feeling better soon. You did the right thing, don't take risks. Glad you enjoyed the Chinese - my appetite seems to have disappeared. I'm finding it difficult to choose a meal. Although it's doing wonders for my weight loss lol.
Hope you get out tomorrow.
Kelly just a few tips on what I did when getting the cold cap:
Wash hair only once a week, I did not buy and special shampoo just carried on using one for coloured hair which I had lots of.
Use tepid water and never go under a shower, I just used a plastic jug, filled it with tepid water and poured it over my hair.
Do not scrub or rub hard, just very gentle massage then rinse.
Use conditioner and comb with a wide tooth comb while conditioner is on. Then rinse.
Blot hair with a towel - no rubbing.
I did use a hair dryer on a cold setting.
No mousse, no heat, no colouring.
Before you get to the hospital take a pain killer to take the bite out of it!
sorry to hear about your shock diagnosis. At least you know it's all being sorted now though. Initially when I saw the GP & the Breast Specialist they were pretty sure it was just a cyst & as I had a benign lump 20 years ago I was pretty sure too. Was a shock when I was told it was cancer after the biopsy results & then another shock when they found another lump directly beneath the first after my MRI! Hopefully we're done with nasty surprises.
I was was really cross at first too. How dare this interrupt my busy life? I'm 43 with 2 boys age 13 & 11 & we were going skiing in Feb 17 but we've had to cancel now. It really does get on your tits. Literally! But I'm so determined to beat it. There's no way my boys are growing up without me.
Hopefully Tuesday you'll find out more about work. Most companies do have policies for this sort of thing. I work for the NHS & we get 6 months full pay & 6 half. Funnily enough I speak to occ health Tuesday too!
My chemo mix is quite different to most people's so my SE's will probably be a bit different anyway. My oncologist said to me that everyone's cancer journey is different, like childbirth - no 2 are the same. Certainly sounds true from everyone I've spoken to who's had it.
Ive been pretty strong so far but have had my down and tearful moments too. I've actually started a blog for my own benefit & also to keep my family & friends informed as I'm inundated with well meaning messages & it's hard to keep responding all the time. If any of you want to have a look it's 1lumpor2site.wordpress.com.
Hi ladies and welcome Fiona,
I went wig hunting yesteday, I thought that this would be my crumble point 😥 But I had so much fun trying on the different colours and styles and have ended up ordering two wigs to vary my look. Don't think I will bother with the cold cap after all, bring on my new look 😀. Will probably still cry though.
Oh yes Fiona Tourette's that seems to come from nowhere, when I told my friends they also seem to develop this 😀, and is a good release of stress though best done on your own. It also looks like we will be chemo buddy's as starting mine next week too. These ladies have been very helpful with all their experiences so far. I shall be holding your hand from afar.
Had a really nice day yesterday in all, after wig hunting the girls all met up for dinner and last night out pre-chemo, ended up with dancing and being out far too late 😳😳. Shopping today for last minute bits for chemo caddy inc new PJs incase I have to stay in hospital.
Love and hugs to all xxx
Welcome on board - there's always room for one more unfortunately!
Sorry that you find yourself in this club, but we're all here together sharing our fears, hopes and any other bit of advice that we can pass on to make it that wee bit easier for anyone else.
It's understandable that you feel scared - God, how scared was I?? I never do brave - EVER!!! Lol - now I've had one cycle of FEC (Last Monday 12/10/16), I feel a lot better in my mind. I know it's going to be tough, but I'm going to be cured.
It's the unknown that's the scary part - we can't relive others' experiences - we have to do it for ourselves. Others may have SE's (side effects) that are totally different from what we experience, even though they have the same treatment. It's very much a "suck it and see" thing - you may escape some SE's, but be more prone to others. Please, please don't be terriffied - if I can reassure you about anything, it's that we're all here together, just trying to get through it as best we can. You will surprise yourself how you handle things. I've had a really bad headache on Days 3 and 4, but don't feel too bad today. You will see that some people say Days 3-10 are the worst. It's a good idea to keep a diary of how you feel because next cycle you can see when you improved. You can also help others along the way by looking back and seeing that you felt the same way as them, and how you dealt with it. 🙂
Brilliant that you've got a great partner to help you along the way - every little helps.
Your treatment plan sounds like mine - 3xFEC, 3T/H - which is Taxotere and Herceptin. Apparently, I'm getting everything in the cupboard. Wanted to ask if there was anything bloody alcoholic in the cupboard!!! Also starting Rads after the Chemo.
You will be fine for Chemo - it doesn't hurt at all, just made me anxious but I was alright on the day.
MacMillan have information booklets, I've attached a link that may be some use to you http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/organising/work-and-cancer/information-for-emplo...
I didn't think the hair thing would bother me either - ha! big mistake!!! Burst into tears at the wig place, I've been practicing wearing my night cap in an effort to de-sensitise myself from the bald look. Seems to be working a bit, although I know I'm going to cry (even if just a little bit!) when I get it shaved off. I was going to cut my hair myself and then get the wig lady to do the rest, but I just don't know. It might be better to plug in some headphones and face away from the mirror!! I have asked if I can bring along WINE - wine always helps!
Glad to hear that you're getting your marching boots on - I'm lacing mine up as we speak!! There's no way that that nastly little "C" is gonna get the better of me!!
Here anytime anyone needs me!
Big Hugs ladies
About the cold cap - they are provided by the hospital and you have them on for 20 minutes before, all the time you get the chemo and for so long after. It varies with which drugs you are on. Anyway this is my hair after chemo:
It is dry and shabby and I had thinning all over with a 2 inch circular patch which is extra thin at the back on a level with the top of my ears. I started my chemo in August.
Ive got the Listerene mild mint alcohol free one. There's nothing mild about it though! Will ask the pharmacist about Difflam or something milder.
Ooooh like the Vaseline idea. Will try that later. Thanks.
Hi Seagull1 and Truey
Fabulous to hear that you're both feeling better - great encouragement for us that aren't feeling too great at the minute.
I can imagine that it would feel amazing to feel some of your strength and energy coming back - no matter how slowly. We've all just got to keep going -although it's hard - we will get there.
Have a lovely weekend.
Big hugs 💕💕💕💕
I started right at the end of September, so am just at the end of cycle 2 of FEC. Just wanted to say that on both cycles I had the tiredness and spaced out feeling, plus apathy from Day 3 until Day 9. But there is life at the end of the tunnel! On both cycles, from Day 10 it felt as if someone was literally pouring energy back into me. My husband said he could almost see the "real" me coming back minute by minute. So please be reassured that the worst of the tiredness does not last for the entire cycle. Hopefully, you will get some respite and normality before the next hit. Meanwhile just follow what your body wants....
Im on Day 4 and feel knackered - don't know what Day 7 will be like lol. I thibk the fatigue is something that's totally bowled us all over. At least now we know what it's like. Think of those poor souls who suffer with this constantly!!!
Keep an eye on the mouth ulcers yoy don't want that getting any worse. I'm sure the needs will kick in, but dont go doing too much or you'll end up exhausted again.
Have a lovely weekend.
Big hugs 💕💕💕
Hi Sarah73, Sue H-S and all you other gorgeous ladies.
I know only too well how you're feeling - head is numb at the back, as if I've been to the dentist lol. Banging sore head and absolutely no energy. Appetite not great either, but Im juicing with Kale and blueberries to keep up with the antioxidants. Its a recipe from my NutriBullet. Also not had any constipation or mouth problems.
Yesterday I came home from work early, was so surprised how quickly I seemed to get tired. One minute I was thinking I'll go home in half an hour - then the next minute I had to get out of there right away. Managed to stay till 2pm, but it's not a demanding job and I was dealing with paperwork and then got Chemo brain.
Didnt go into work today, went back to try on wig and I feel a bit more comfortable about it - if that's the right word.
I think the most important thing for all of us is to share our experiences and most importantly, share how we dealt with it. Sometimes hearing others experiences is quite frightening for those who haven't experienced those symptoms, and as Sue H-S says, we may never experience the same symptoms with the same severity. Everyone has their own unique experience, which means that you may not suffer as bad as someone else. Remember ladies - there's always a positive. This treatment will come to an end.
Sarah73 - feeling sorry for yourself is allowed every now and then, who wouldn't!!! It's absolutely pants that we have to go through this - but we'll get there. You know we will!!!! It's a blip in our life that we can recover from. I'm on Day 4 and Im taking each day as it comes - I just keep thinking "maybe tomorrow will be better". I only has 3 days of steroids so maybe that's why I feel rubbish.
Have a lovely weekend ladies and remember to strut your stuff when you can.
Big hugs 💕💕💕💕💕
Please not not get too worried about other peoples experiences on their chemo regime. We are all different in age, as well as possible underlying health issues, which may make us react differently to the same treatment.
It is far too early, unless you are really ill, to ask for any reductions of your chemo. It is usual for people to complete a questionaire before each new cycle and the reported side effects are monitored my the oncologist. As and when you see him/her again they will discuss these with you, adjust your accompanying medication further or suggest an adjustment to your treatment.
The sudden onset of utter fatigue can be very challenging - it certainly was for me. I was so angry withmyself and so frustrated, that there were days, where I could not do what I wanted. We are so used to thinking - "I am tired and I'll have a sleep and will wake up refreshed". Unfortunately, whilst going through chemo, our body might not not work like that anymore.
It is so difficult to accept, that we have little control over what our body 'throws' at us. We really just have to go with the flow and listen to our body. Everything is now different for a while. Sniffles won't just go away - some have food cravings, some put on weight, some lose weight.
Rest when you feel like it, do things when you feel like it. Will it continue through further cycles? Unfortunately it may, but it does not always get that bad, as your body adjusts. It may also depend on your regime. It does appear that the 'knocked out' feeling is worse for those going through FEC the whole way, whilst for those on FEC-T it sometimes gets better, when on the T.
Hope that you wil feel better very soon.
I hope you won't be so badly effected for all of your chemos but I certainly was. For me it was a combo of weakness, fainting and terrible sickness plus a host of other side effects. Really glad you don't have the sickness but it is so frustrating being stuck in bed.
Was on FEC-T. For my 3 FEC cycles I was totally poleaxed and could barely move. Couldn't bathe each day. If I was strong enough to get out of bed I crawled up and down the stairs on my hands and knees. Couldn't cook or clean or look after myself.
Also, I had infections on week 2 of all my FEC cycles. Ended up in hospital for the first one and then got the GP to treat me at home after that as I was not well enough to cope with hospital.
In the end I had to change from a 3 weekly cycle to a 4 weekly one as too poorly to get to hospital for my next infusion. As it was my other-half had to take me there in a wheelchair.
I did feel a little better by week three and four but the side effects for me were culmulative and it got worse on all 3 FECs.
So, based on this, I asked for a lower dose of T (Doxetaxel) when the time came. Also had severe side effects from that but not as badly as FEC. Still crap but different crap.
I finished chemo about 9 weeks ago. Some of the side effects are still there (sickness, losing nails, peripheral neuropathy etc). We now have a cleaner coming in weekly.
Recovering my strength (had lumpectomy a month back) and no longer reliant on a wheelchair, can bathe each day.
If you do feel this bad you might want to ask your consultant to lower the dose or change to something else?
Hope you feel better though and this is just a blimp for you!
Hi Kelly & Swampy1901
Think I might have been one day ahead - I was counting Day 2 as Day 3!! oops. I had my FEC on 31/10, so this is really Day 3. I can feel myself getting slower and more brain fuddled if that's possible!
Kelly - I really think we just have to handle each cycle as it comes - maybe some won't be as bad as others, but the most important thing is not to be too hard on yourself. Take it easy and rest/lie in bed when you need to. The ironing can wait!
Swampy1901- Hopefully, we'll learn something from each cycle to make it easier for the next one! Fingers crossed and thanks for the advice.
It's a good idea to count up the treatments and then down. We will all get through this together.
Love to you all Skye xxx